Since 2004, the lands and resin forests of the Toba Batak community of Ompu Ronggur have been cleared and replaced by eucalyptus plantations of pulp company PT Toba Pulp Lestari. This State-authorised land-grab and destruction of the community’s forests violates a range of international human rights instruments ratified by the Government of Indonesia, including ILO Convention 111.
Film by Nanang Sujana for Forest Peoples Programme
West Papua is home to Asia’s largest remaining rainforests, indigenous communities and unique species. But this exclusive 101 East investigation reveals how Korean-run companies are allegedly engaging in questionable deals as they buy up forests to develop palm oil plantations. Featuring rare access to a restive Indonesian province usually off-limits to journalists, we meet tribesmen who allege that Posco International and Korindo are plundering their land for a pittance. Both companies deny all allegations including fraud and human rights abuses. Selling Out West Papua was produced in collaboration with Mongabay, The Gecko Project and the Korea Centre for Investigative Journalism.
The indigenous people of Sungai Utik, a Dayak Iban community in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have maintained a strong traditional connection to their forests despite continuous pressure from logging and palm oil companies intent on taking their land. Their forests remain intact and their traditional values are keeping their community together. If we want to keep forests and maintain food security we need to trust and support communities like the indigenous Dayak Iban. As they tackle the impacts of climate change, through the sustainable forestry traditional both to their culture and to their understanding of nature, they can offer us climate solutions and hope for the future.